Darkover novels

 could be headed to television

Two prominent Hollywood producers have managed to secure the screen rights to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s popular “Darkover” novels. 

According to Variety, Ilene Kahn Power and Elizabeth Stanley are already pitching the project to at least one cable station, while preparing detailed presentations for other channels.

The show – if picked up – would ultimately be based on the entire Darkover franchise, which spans an impressive 20 books.

“The novels have a huge fan following throughout the science fiction and fantasy communities internationally and Marion Zimmer Bradley was an inspiration to and a nurturer of many notable speculative fiction writers,” said Ilene Kahn Power.

The Darkover series chronicles the early years of human space exploration and colonization, depicting the struggles of Celtic and Spanish colonists who plan on settling a new world. The mission fails as the colonists crash-land on Darkover, a planet circling a red giant.

The marooned colonists are unable repair their ship and fail to re-establish contact with Earth. As such, they decide to increase the available gene pool and maximize the chances of colonial survival by intermarrying and conceiving children with multiple partners. 

Psychic and psionic abilities are eventually introduced through mutation, external stimulants and interbreeding with the native population (Chieri) of Darkover. 

However, rather than advancing, society on the planet eventually regresses to a feudal state, with the human Darkovans abandoning Terran tech in favor of perfecting psionically-based matrix technology. Political and social life is dominated by the inhabitants of The Towers, which house those born with psionic (laran) abilities.

Interestingly enough, Bradley’s estate originally wanted Darkover adapted as a theatrical film, but Power and Stanley persuaded her reps that TV was a more viable option.

Kahn Power is a former exec at HBO, where she produced a number of telepics, including “Gia” and “Stalin.” Stanely has a sci-fi and horror background, with producing credits on “Trailers From Hell” and “The Dark Path Chronicles.”

Bradley’s Darkover novels can be browsed and purchased here on Amazon.